Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Media Takes On the Website

By Margie Church, Copywriter/Editor

Years ago, when I first worked on websites, they were as stoic and devoid of humanity as could be. A company's website was the place to showcase your corporate wares. Personality be damned.

I am in the throes of revamping our company website, so I've been researching and thinking about the impact social media should have on the upgrade. I've concluded the "face" of Pinpoint Direct Marketing that friends and followers are experiencing in our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages needs to better merge into our website. How to do it is the question, since the website is there to sell and the social media tools are there to engage.

The phrase "soft sell" comes to mind. It's not a new term, though a younger crowd might not be familiar with it. In essence, you're giving the reader credit for their intelligence by not hitting them over the head with the obvious, hard sell. And you provide solutions-based content. Resist the urge to have a brain dump and "talk at" the visitor. Make brevity a guide. Use a conversational tone similar to what you've been doing in social media conversations. Save some of your wisdom and experience for the conversation you expect to have with the member…where you're doing the listening.

Peak Their Interest 

Convince them you've got something they need and you're the best source to get it. The easiest way to do this is by negative comparison to the competition. That's also the surest way to turn off the reader. Consider that the member or prospect may have accounts and loans at a bank. By using negative advertising, you may be insulting their choices, not the bank's credibility. Take the extra time to put a positive spin on your message.

Quality Not Quantity

I continue to be fascinated by people following us who don’t even speak English. They do nothing remotely related to our business or industry. I can only conclude they're playing the numbers game - following and friending everyone suggested, without vetting them first. The real danger of this practice is simple, but perhaps not obvious. Your members' voices are being drowned out by everything else going on in your social media. Your messages are being gobbled up by the noise as well.

What has numbers got to do with your website? 

Testimonials are timeless.  If you can get members excited about you, their endorsements are worth far more than any clever remarks you can write about yourself. If members can see you're focused on them and what's best for their interests, you'll engage them. They'll use your website to conduct business and communicate with you. 

When your site is packaged with all your social media tools, it'll feel like one big happy family.

Have you made changes to your website to reflect social media's impact on your business?

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